Victim Services hosted a workshop on human trafficking at the Seaforth Community Centre on Wednesday.
Executive Director Deborah Logue says about 125 people attended the event representing several agencies from Huron and the surrounding counties.
Logue says most local residents would be surprised at the amount of human trafficking that takes place in and around Huron County. She says the most likely victims are teenaged girls who feel marginalized and trying to find a way to fit in and be accepted.
Logue says their trust and dependence on social media makes they particularly vulnerable to people looking to recruit young girls. Once they post a few pictures, the threat of exposure keeps them in the sex business.
Logue also points out the girls aren’t necessarily held away from home against their will. They can often still go home every night, but the threat of exposure prevents them from going to the authorities or their parents.
Logue says clues that parents can watch for are their children no longer talking about where they go or who they’re with, suddenly showing up with gifts that they can’t afford, or children suddenly becoming very quite and introverted or depressed.
By Bob Montgomery